Week 7: Not Clinging to Anything

Joseph continues the discussion (link to talk here) of the refrain in the Sattipathana Sutta and elaborates on  one abiding independent, not clinging to anything in the world.   He goes on to talk about not craving for anything and refraining from views. The Pali word tanha is sometimes described as thirst and this is applied to the desire for sense  pleasures at all of the sense doors.  It can be a repetitive fantasy of wanting anything.  This includes the desire for meditative states or longing for a repeat of a good meditation experience.    He speaks of the patterns of craving and the need to abide independent by abandoning tenancies.   With this practice any moment is possible to work on freedom.   He describes a deeper craving that is the thrust for existence and this is manifested by a desire for rebirth in a good place.  It is a leaning into the next moment in the desire of becoming.  The process of liberation is not holding on not getting something.   There is also a thrust for expectation that sets us up for craving and suffering.  Another form of craving is the thrust for non existence.  This is a view of self and a strong desire for deliverance.  He makes a recommendation to be mindful of the sense of self to be liberated and not be dependent on views.   We are indentifying with what arises and a sense of self …of I.  The freedom comes when we let go of the identification with the sense events.   When we live abiding independent we are moving toward the end of suffering.

 The group was asked to relate to recent experiences of craving, how it feels, how they relate to this, and can you see a pattern?

An example of watching a bird was discussed as an experience and how this related to  craving.  Members talked about intention and how there is a difference between clinging and craving.  Comments were made about being joyful and allowing ourselves to be in the moment.   Discussion also spoke of the training to be aware and to see where the suffering was.   A member spoke of relief of let going of a portion of home improvement project after a refinance.   This brought the practical application of letting go of craving in daily life.

Individual  drills for the week

1. Every time you look at your mobile device can you see the craving that is arising?  Take a deep breath and relax.

 2.  Make a list of the five things you like and the five things you don’t like each day for five days.  This will give some clarity to the I like it or I don’t like it mind.  The manifestation of craving.

 3.  Make a list of all the ways you identify yourself.  Look at the categories, interests, preferences,  achievements, patterns, etc.  and try to make few judgments.   See the ways you feed your craving.  The idea is to give you the opportunity to release these perceptions and experience relief.  This process leads to end the suffering.

Facilitator: Mark Berger